It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.
If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>
I ran a really successful affiliate contest last month and it's got me thinking about motivating affiliates. So, on that note, this week I asked our panel of experts this question …
What's your best tip for getting
your affiliates to actively promote you?
I think you'll find the answers this week interesting and hopefully helpful in improving your affiliate program.
Jeanette S. Cates, PhD of JeanetteCates.com says:
About once a year I like to run a 100% commission One Dollar promotion. That means that if an affiliate is paying attention at all, they'll promote it to someone!
And in turn – they'll get a payout in their PayPal account (I set my payment threshold that month to $1). For some, it's the first dollar they've made online. For others, it's a wake-up call (Hey, she DOES pay commissions – when I promote!)
All in all it's a lot of fun for all of us. And it gives me a great excuse to get more affiliates involved.
Tawnya Sutherland of VAnetworking.com says:
What's my best tip for getting affiliates to promote me?
Well, with my super affiliates, it is basically jumping on the phone with them one-on-one and putting together a marketing campaign to push out a product to help them easily make money. I'll provide them with all the sales copy, blog posts, email blasts and tweets. I find the easier I make it for them the more likely they are to promote my products for Virtual Assistants.
As for my other affiliates, I have set up a website with tutorials on everything from how to do redirect to tips and strategies in affiliate marketing. Educating people who are newer to affiliate marketing helps these people eventually become super affiliates for me too. I also supply all the sales tools they need to make it easy for them to promote my products.
Keeping in touch bi-weekly or monthly, giving them a chance to promote the product before I do also encourages them to get out there and tell the world about my products.
Making it simple and easy to promote my products for my affiliates is my ultimate goal.
Rachel Rofe of RachelRofe.com replied with this video:
Mark Mason of MasonWorld.com says:
This week, I would like to come at this from a little different perspective — the perspective of the affiliate. After all, what better way is there to understand how to motivate affiliates that to try and see things from their point of view?
Here are the top four things that are valuable to me as an affiliate and really motivate to promote an offer:
1. A quality product. I hate it when I get complaints about a product that I promoted, so I only promote stuff that I really believe in. That means that a product has to have top-notch quality for me to promote it.
2. A personal connection. If a product owner takes the 30 seconds needed to check in with me personally, that tells me a lot about who I am dealing with. Just a simple email asking me if I need anything or how things are going (or a thank you) is huge.
3. Surprises in the US Mail. I know it sounds silly, but getting a small surprise gift in the mail is awesome. I don't know why, but the few times that has happened to me, it has impressed me and made me want to work harder to promote the product.
4. Great affiliate materials. Let's face it. We are all very busy. If it is easy to promote something, I am more likely to do it. Great affiliate materials also tell me that the product owner is serious about the product. Swipe blog posts are my favorite affiliate tool.
Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:
Well, I could go on about this all day long (as some of you know who've heard me speak about this topic in person). 🙂
Here we go.
Affiliates are BUSY, BUSY, BUSY.
(Did I mention Busy, yet?)
This means that you have to get their attention in some way, first. And, it also means that anything that you ask them to do has to be quick and painless for them.
The first part is getting their attention. This can be a huge feat in and of itself.
First let's touch on the fact that there are two types of affiliates and, while valuing both types, you'll focus differently on each.
1. The Experienced (Big time) Affiliates: Personal Attention. Give them Your Time.
Since you're busy, too, and have a life, you'll want to focus on spending your one-on-one time with the bigger affiliates. The Super Affiliates or Mid-Range Affiliates are established in your market and have lists or a sizable audience in some other way — RSS readers, a membership site, an active forum, etc. You focus individual time on them.
If you're focusing on someone like a Lynn Terry or Connie Green, it's all about the relationship that you're nurturing. Don't think you can hire an affiliate manager to connect with them. It will NOT work. (Coming soon… “Why you probably do NOT need an Affiliate Manager and What You Do Need Instead.” Stay tuned for that.)
They normally don't open your mass affiliate emails and won't go to your affiliate center. I do say this with love because I fall into the “more experienced” group, obviously. 😉
2. The Less Experienced Affiliate: Help Them, but with Group Time.
That doesn't mean that you ignore your less experienced affiliates (ie. small potatoes). You just nurture them differently and usually focus on spending your “group” time with them. You communicate with these affiliates through your group mailings or your lists and on your affiliate blogs. In an ideal world, it would be nice to be able to spend lots of time individually with these guys and gals, there just aren't enough hours in the day. So, to best help them, create tools and training that they can study and use to succeed.
These are the types of people who you're setting up your affiliate center for — and who will actually log in to see what you've got available. They're the ones who'll open and read your affiliate mailings.
Like I said, both types of affiliates are valuable and important. However, you've always got to know which type of affiliate you're trying to motivate. Because it's completely different both ways.
So, my #1 tip for motivating affiliates?
If it's your top affiliates that you're focusing on, then connect with them personally and offer to create a custom promotion for them, do a webinar for their people, run a big-time affiliate contest, or somehow take some work off of them while making them money. Make them an offer they can NOT refuse.
If you're working on motivating the masses, then stay in contact with them. Give them prewritten emails and articles and plenty of excuses to talk you up. Don't ignore them just because they're not successful … yet. Show them you care and you'll have loyal affiliates at all stages.
Don't ignore your affiliate list. It can be just as profitable (and even more so) than your leads lists.
I hope this post has given some food for thought.
Recommended Resource from ME:
I just launched IncomeCPR.com which is for people who already HAVE an infoproduct or two created but are asking themselves “Why aren't I making any money from it?!”
The first month's lesson is “How In One Month, I Doubled My Sales, Grew My Lists, Got Tons of Incoming Links, and Made New Friends”.
Take a peek inside my business, including case studies from 3 of my top affiliates who each earned an iPad from me for promoting EasyPLR.com.
In coming months at IncomeCPR.com, I'll be teaching how to recruit affiliates, how to get a sexy backend (funnel), how to reduce refunds and how to lessen your customer support time and expense (even making it profitable). Stay tuned….
It’s Your Turn.
So, now, I’ll pose this question to you. Do you find it hard to motivate your affiliates? Most people do. Or do you have a trick or tip that you'd like to share?
I'd love to hear about it!